Monday, September 29, 2008

Drum roll, please....

Ladies and Gentlemen, I am thrilled to announce our first One Book, One School selection: Touching Spirit Bear by Ben Mikaelsen. Our entire school--adults and kids alike--are reading this book and will have the honor of Ben Mikaelsen visiting our school at the end of October. I want to thank the PTA for generously donating money to pay for 1/2 of the books we needed--that helped tremendously in purchasing copies for everyone. I'll have more OBOS news as time goes on....

Saturday, September 20, 2008

What the Moon Saw

Also on the Lone Star list....
What the Moon Saw, by Laura Resau, is a lovely and beautifully written book. When I grow up, I hope to write as lyrically as Ms. Resau.
14 year old Clara Luna who has always lived in Maryland with her parents, has never even really thought much about her father's parents--after all, they've never met and her father doesn't discuss his past. However, all that changes when Clara goes to visit her grandparents in a remote village in Oaxaca, Mexico.
For the first time, Clara begins to experience her Mexican heritage. She also comes to see that her Abuelita is a healer with mystical understandings of the world, and she meets Pedro, a boy from the village, and feels the blush of first love.
I cannot tell you how much I loved this book. It is a beautifully written coming-of-age story that I highly recommend.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

The wrath of IKE

Oh, how I hate to not be able to blog!
While I have actually enjoyed the peacefulness that "unplugging" brings, after a few days I begin jonesing for electricity.

Life is okay though. We have a propane grill and food over ice in a giant cooler.
The weather is lovely--temps at night in the mid-50's.
Our house does NOT have a tree through it. :)
Life is good.
And now, power has been restored at work--so I'm up here to write a quick blog, & charge my cell phone.

Hope everyone else is doing okay. I'll be back to my regular blogging as soon as possible.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Chance Fortune and the Outlaws

Chance Fortune and the Outlaws, by Shane Berryhill, is the next book from the Lone Star list to be reviewed here.

The story is set in a parallel universe in which Earth is exactly like a comic book from the 1950's---complete with superheroes and a superhero academy.

Now, I do like comics, really I do. After all, Batgirl was a librarian (check the archive for my super-fabulous post in July on this very topic.)

Sadly, this book just did not do it for me. I wanted to like it--I really tried to like it, but it just wasn't meant to be.

I think the premise is good--but when Disney's Sky High does it better, well...that's a sign you are in trouble.

Josh is a regular kid with superhero dreams. He sacrifices everything and works hard with his retired superhero mentor in order to get admitted into the academy. Unfortunately for Josh he doesn't have any "real" super powers, which makes getting in a bit tricky. Luckily for him, his mentor hatches a plan and decides that his power is being super lucky. Uh-huh, super lucky. Not a great super power, granted, but it does allow him entry into the famed academy. Fast-forward to the name change of Chance Fortune and the meeting of friends with names like Shocker and Psy-chick. They all become involved in fighting games that become deadly serious when a nefarious plot to rule the world is uncovered and Chance and his group, the Outlaws, must save the day.

Um....maybe it would work better in graphic novel form?

Those of you who are die-hard comic buffs will probably enjoy this book, but for the rest of you....I suggest you check this one out along with a couple of other books just in case it doesn't do it for you either. A sequel is coming soon....

Thursday, September 4, 2008

The Floating Island

The Floating Island, by Elizabeth Haydon, is the latest Lone Star book to be reviewed on my blog, and I must say I LOVED THIS BOOK!

Ven Polypheme is a wonderful main character in this epic adventure quest story (and yes, it IS all those things!) The premise of the story is that Ven's journals have been found by an archaeologist and they have been recreated to tell the story of his unusual life in this book. Ven is a Nain, which are a people that live very long lives (at 50 he is but a mere tween-ager)and who usually work underground. Ven's family, however, has taken a different path and are now known as the best shipbuilders around. It is on Ven's 50th birthday that he first has the opportunity to inspect the newest ship that has been built....and that is where the adventures begin. After being attacked by fire pirates, being saved by a mermaid and rescued by another ship the story gets even more adventurous (if you can believe that!)
The story reminds me a bit of the Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings books in that Nains hold some similarities to hobbits, and this is an adventure/quest book. It is fabulous and I highly recommend it for both boys and girls.
A side note----I really don't get the cover. Not at all. isn't about a dragon, but whatever. Maybe the next installment in the series will shed some light upon this choice.